SYDNEY FC will pay less for their next marquee player than they did for Dwight Yorke and his last name is "more likely to end in a vowel", quashing speculation the club is seeking a hardened English professional such as Alan Shearer.
The hint comes as chief executive Tim Parker called on other clubs to share the risk Sydney FC carried last season and revealed that the Yorke investment had taken the club to the edge of ruin.
"I'm not suggesting everyone should make the same investment we made last year because it took us to the brink of disaster," Parker said.
"It was a massive investment which I wouldn't recommend to other organisations. I'm not saying, 'Go right out on a limb', but I know that making the right investment is a good thing for the club and the competition. I'd like to see a bit more daring from the other clubs."
Sydney FC plan to trial Italian Benito Carbone for a job as a four-game guest following their success with Japanese star Kazuyoshi Miura last season. It will give them time to find a long-term replacement.
"You can safely say we'll be paying less this time," Parker said. "It's not just about getting a cheaper player. It's about not having to pay the risk premium we did with Yorke.
"Coming to Sydney FC last year meant a player was taking a year out of his career to play where there was a risk it could all fall over.
"There was a risk to the player's reputation as well. It wasn't necessarily seen as a good career move. But Dwight legitimised it and now we won't have to fork out the risk premium we did before."
There had been speculation Sydney FC would talk to former England striker Shearer. But Parker said: "The names we're talking to are more likely to end in a vowel than not. We have some exciting ideas. A star marquee player is our ambition, but we want to get the right marquee player."
In the meantime, a guest player seems the most likely next move.
"It's a bit of an easier call," Parker said. "You can get someone in quickly and inject a bit of excitement, as we did with Kazu last year.
"He delivered on the pitch and brought great experience to the squad. Off the pitch, he helped us connect with the Japanese community in an amazing way, in terms of seat sales, and was a tremendous shot in the arm for the Club World Championship in Japan."